Pine River senior girls reflect on final season on boys soccer team

LEROY — The season has come to an end for Pine River’s boys soccer team which includes seven girls that don’t have a program to play on in the spring because of a lack of numbers.

But three senior girls have enjoyed their tenure with Pine River soccer with defensemen Jenna Peterson and Kaylena VanGent, and center-forward Megan

Quakenbush.

Jenna Peterson is in her first varsity soccer season. In the winter, she’ll be playing her fourth season of varsity basketball for the Bucks.

“I played ASYO when I was little,” she said. “I just wanted to do something this fall.”

On defense, she’s been working on keeping the ball away from the goalie.

“I do a great job most of the time,” she smiled, admitting that it took her about a couple of weeks to feel comfortable with the sport. “I wasn’t sure about soccer because I hadn’t played since I was little. Once you get into it, it’s easier.”

Playing on a predominately boys team “is a little different,” Peterson smiled, while admitting she wouldn’t mind having a girls team. “The boys make you tougher.”

“It’s actually a lot of fun, there’s a lot less drama,” VanGent said of playing with the boys. “It would be nice to have two teams but it’s definitely fine with me to have one.”

Winning the first game “was a lot of fun,” Peterson said. “We got to ring the (victory) bell.”

VanGent has played the sport since she was four but only in high school this year and last.

“There was a new coach and I wanted to be a part of a varsity sport,” she said. “I loved soccer and I missed it.”

Going into the districts, “we have a good team and we’re definitely getting better,” VanGent said. “I’ve definitely gotten

better.”

Quankenbush and VanGent also runs track.

“I’m happy they’re not in the same season because I don’t know what I would choose, “ VanGent said.

Quakenbush scored last week in the team’s 7-6 win over Burt Lake, her first goal as a Buck.

“I thought it would hit the guy (guarding) me, but it actually went around him,” she said. “It was really exciting. I’ve come close before. I haven’t gotten many shots this year.”

Quakenbush also played last season for the Bucks.

“I moved back here. I used to live here and moved away and last year was my first year back,” said Quakenbush who had previously played on an all girls team in Kentucky. “I like it (playing on a boys team) a lot more. There’s a lot less drama. Growing up, I was always on a guys team.”

From last year, “I think I improved quite a bit,” Quakenbush said. “just from having the harder practices.”